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Nuffield Scholars Announced

16 October 2008

Nuffield Scholars Announced

The New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust is pleased to announce three scholarship recipients for 2008.

Alec Jack is a beef farmer from Pakaraka, in the Far North who is also an appointed representative of Northland supplier shareholders on the Silver Fern Farms North Island Suppliers’ Council.

Alec has aspirations to provide leadership in New Zealand’s red meat industry and in the promotion of environmentally sustainable and profitable pastoral farming systems. He intends to study three topics as part of his Nuffield: anticipating and exceeding the environmental/humane/ethical standards customers require; adding value at both ends of the red meat supply chain through joint venture partnership opportunities; and repeatable intergenerational farm succession. Alec proposes to start his studies in New Zealand to establish a baseline then plans to spend time in the UK, North America, Australia and Asia.

Gregg Pardoe of Gisborne is the operations manager for Arai Matawai Incorporation. Gregg will receive a scholarship to study indigenous peoples and how they have adapted to modern farming practises. He believes Maori farming in New Zealand is going through a renaissance period. Gregg believes his study has the potential to benefit not only Maori and New Zealand agriculture but agriculture across the globe. Gregg plans to visit Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, China, Mongolia, Russia and the Middle East.

Mandi McLeod, a dairy farm consultant from Te Awamutu, has spent 15 years actively involved in the agricultural industry. She has interests in her family dairy farm and her partner, Ant Beet runs a sharemilking business. As well as having worked in both China (for Fonterra) and Russia (USAid), Mandi is a producer and presenter for TV Central’s “Farming Today” programme. She is also heavily involved in Rural Support Trust and has been working with farmers affected by recent drought and floods. Mandi will be researching business continuance and succession planning with a particular focus on leadership, management and governance at the family farm, corporate farm and industry levels. Mandi believes the benefits of this research would result in pragmatic models for achieving efficient and successful transitions between generations of leaders. Mandi plans to visit the USA (Harvard), UK, Europe and Australia.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships promote leadership and the implementation of innovative practices in agriculture through worldwide study and interpersonal contact. The scholarships give successful applicants the opportunity to develop a better understanding of New Zealand and international relationships by studying farming, agricultural marketing or agricultural organisational practices internationally.

The three scholars will attend a Contemporary Scholars Conference in the United Kingdom in late February, hosted by the UK Nuffield network and attended by scholars from other participating countries. They will then do a global tour with other scholars where they get the opportunity to experience a wide range of agricultural operations throughout a variety of countries.

The balance of the scholarship is for the recipients to organise and research their chosen study topic where and how they see fit. Both a written and oral presentation is made to the Nuffield organisation at the conclusion of their tour.

“The selection was incredibly tough this year. Once again it was a very high calibre field. It is very pleasing that applicants are coming from a wide cross-section of agriculture. As well as interests in the dairy, sheep and beef sectors we were really excited to be able to award the scholarship to someone who holds managerial position in a Maori incorporation. It is the first time we have had such an applicant,” said Nuffield chairman, Stuart Wright.

Nuffield Farming Scholarships are sponsored by Rabobank, Federated Farmers of New Zealand, Dairy NZ, Landcorp, Meat & Wool New Zealand, the Mackenzie Charitable Foundation, FMG, Foundation for Arable Research and Mid-Canterbury Farmers Charitable Trust. For more information on Nuffield visit


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